Tag Archives | Junk Food

Can We Cut Crime by Changing Cafeteria Menus?

Pic: USMC (PD)

Pic: USMC (PD)

A thought provoking summary of some of the data surrounding food-induced behavior change, by Christina Pirello. In reading, it may be pertinent to consider the weighted influence of our misconstrued conceptual frameworks provoked by the word “diet” which, as Tony Wright claims, would be a word more accurately termed “highly advanced molecular engineering of the most complex and chemically sensitive thing we know”. But even that hardly does it any justice.

It’s a tragically comedic sign of the times to see everyone paying more care to their new [insert plastic piece of crap here] than the thing between their ears that’s involved in orchestrating their very perception and sense of self. Ironic that the basic engineering logic of build materials and fuel quality makes perfect sense when thinking about the functionality of our cars, but is a foreign concept to most people when applied to the brain. How much longer can our culture blindly go on assuming that what we build and fuel our neural system on is of no consequence to ourselves, our children, and future generations?… Read the rest

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The Myth of Choice: How Junk-Food Marketers Target Our Kids

Anna Lappé & Food MythBusters have a great new video series combating the processed food industry’s marketing onslaught:

Big Food spends close to $2 billion every year telling kids and teens what’s cool to eat through advertising, promotions, and sponsorships. Meanwhile, across the country, fast-food chains are crowding out grocery stores and supermarkets, narrowing the healthy food choices available.

Scary? It sure is, but together, we can work to curb this predatory marketing and stand up for real food.

We believe that marketing targeting to children and teenagers is a public health crisis. Watch our movies and dig into this page to understand why.

Protect our kids. Tell McDonald’s to end its predatory marketing to children and shut down happymeal.com. Visit http://www.foodmyths.org to take action!

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Fast Food Hamburgers Contain As Little As 2 Percent Meat

Hamburger 01Before you think that 99 cent deal at your local junkburger joint is a bargain, check out the typical composition of the burger, courtesy of a study by Brigid Prayson, James T. McMahon, PhD, and Richard A. Prayson, MD published in the Annals of Diagnostic Pathology:

Americans consume about 5 billion hamburgers a year. It is presumed that most hamburgers are composed primarily of meat. The purpose of this study is to assess the content of 8 fast food hamburger brands using histologic methods. Eight different brands of hamburgers were evaluated for water content by weight and microscopically for recognizable tissue types.

Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) staining was used to evaluate for brain tissue. Water content by weight ranged from 37.7% to 62.4% (mean, 49%). Meat content in the hamburgers ranged from 2.1% to 14.8% (median, 12.1%). The cost per gram of hamburger ranged from $0.02 to $0.16 (median, $0.03) and did not correlate with meat content.

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The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Michael Moss pulls back just a fraction of the curtain on how giant food corporations collude to control your diet in a lengthy piece for the New York Times Magazine:

On the evening of April 8, 1999, a long line of Town Cars and taxis pulled up to the Minneapolis headquarters of Pillsbury and discharged 11 men who controlled America’s largest food companies. Nestlé was in attendance, as were Kraft and Nabisco, General Mills and Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Mars. Rivals any other day, the C.E.O.’s and company presidents had come together for a rare, private meeting. On the agenda was one item: the emerging obesity epidemic and how to deal with it. While the atmosphere was cordial, the men assembled were hardly friends. Their stature was defined by their skill in fighting one another for what they called “stomach share” — the amount of digestive space that any one company’s brand can grab from the competition.

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The Right to Sell Kids Junk

Froot-Loops-Cereal-BowlFood critic and blogger extraordinaire Mark Bittman makes the point that a Constitution protecting corporations’ right to inundate children with junk food is wack (especially because the obesity and other health problems it leads to will require health care, which the Constitution may or may not allow the government to provide), in the New York Times:

The First Amendment to the Constitution, which tops our Bill of Rights, guarantees — theoretically, at least — things we all care about. So much is here: freedom of religion, of the press, of speech, the right to assemble and more. Yet it’s stealthily and incredibly being invoked to safeguard the nearly unimpeded “right” of a handful of powerful corporations to market junk food to children.

It’s been reported that kids see an average of 5,500 food ads on television every year (sounds low, when you think about it), nearly all peddling junk. (They may also see Apple commercials, but not of the fruit kind.) Worse are the online “advergames” that distract kids with entertainment while immersing them in a product-driven environment.

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